Following the eruption of violence during the 2024 FA Cup finals in Port Loko on May 4th, National Sports Authority (NSA) Director Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai Esq. has issued a stern warning to those engaging in football-related violence.

Director Abdulai condemned the “coward acts” that marred the final match between Bo Rangers FC and East End Lions. He emphasized that such violence not only disrespects the sport but also negatively impacts Sierra Leonean livelihoods and the tourism sector.

“Spectator violence isn’t just a social issue,” Director Abdulai stated. “It disrupts the economic sustainability of sports and tourism, which significantly contributes to our national GDP.”

He highlighted how violence disrupts tourism, hindering hotel occupancy and affecting local businesses. He stressed that perpetrators not only jeopardize public safety but also hinder the growth of both sports and tourism. Consequently, those found guilty of violence will face a ban on participating in all football activities within Sierra Leone.

Director Abdulai acknowledged the growing connection between tourism and football. He assured the public of the government’s commitment to maintaining peace and security. He urged all stakeholders to prioritize responsible and peaceful conduct at football events for the benefit of all Sierra Leoneans and the beautiful game itself.